Three students who survived initiation rites for Tau Gamma Phi or TGP fraternity at the De La Salle University-College of Saint Benilde or DLSU-CSB again faced three out of the 20 people tagged to the death of their fellow neophyte, Guillo Cesar Servando, on Thursday.
In the preliminary investigations at the Department of Justice or DOJ on July 31, surviving TGP neophytes John Paul Raval, Lorence Anthony Agustin, and another DLSU-CSB freshman filed affidavits as witnesses that recounted their torture and events leading to Servando’s death.
The freshman, who is still a minor, recalled how TGP masters assigned him to bring ammonia while ordering Servando to bring chili to the hazing site on June 28.
The under-aged neophyte added, in his affidavit, that the neophytes and other fraternity members first met at the condo unit of one of the suspects, Daniel Paul Martin Bautista, at One Archer’s Place in Taft Avenue.
Upon arriving at the Makati frat house around 6 p.m., the freshman said Bautista briefed the neophytes and advised them to drink plenty of water and “just take all the hits they would give us”.
The freshman added they were also advised to sniff the ammonia or eat chili to endure the pain and avoid losing consciousness.
“I was hit several times with a paddle on the back of my thighs. I cannot remember how many hits they gave me; (maybe) about 100. When I was about to pass out, someone gave me ammonia and sili. They also gave me chocolates,” the under-aged witness stated in his affidavit.
“Sometimes I was turned upside down so that I could recover. Despite these efforts, I passed out several times during the paddling session,” it added.
The witness also said a fraternity member had to assist Servando so that he can go with other neophytes, who were then brought back to One Archer’s Place when the initiation rites ended at around 9 p.m.
When Servando was found unconscious an hour later, the under-aged survivor said Bautista and two other fraternity members performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR but hurried out of the condominium when the CPR failed to revive Servando.
The preliminary hearing also accepted affidavits from Kurt Michael Almazan and Luis Solomon Arevalo, who have been provisionally admitted to the government’s witness protection program.
One of the 20 suspects, Steven Jorge Peñano, also submitted an affidavit presenting an alibi that would distance himself from the fatal TGP hazing rites on June 28.
Peñano questioned his inclusion in the list of suspects, saying he was not even named in the affidavits executed by Almazan, Arevalo and Jemar Pajarito, who served as the caretaker of the house in Barangay (village) Palanan, Makati City, which the frat used for the hazing.
Peñano claimed he was in school with his girlfriend before joining his friends in a mall the whole day of June 28, clarifying that he never went to the condominium on Taft Avenue, Manila.
“I am respectfully asking the dismissal of the complaint against me, also because my continued yet unfair and unjust inclusion in the case and in its proceedings and the mere mention of my name in the media, has already adversely affected me, my reputation in the community and in my beloved alma mater, my serious effort to focus on the completion of my academic course, my graduation, my on-the-job training and my family (sic),” Penano said in his affidavit.
The panel of DOJ prosecutors, headed by Stewart Allan Mariano, gave the suspects who did not show up in the proceedings until Aug. 14 to submit their affidavits.
The Bureau of Immigration said four other suspects—Esmerson Nathaniel Calupas, Hans Killian Tatlonghari, Eleazar Pablico III, and John Kevin Navoa—have already left the country.
The suspects are facing complaints for violating the “Anti-Hazing Law”.